Best Acts of the 2011 Vancouver International Jazz Festival

Various venues, June 24 to July 5

Music festivals around the world have suffered in recent years from the effects of a struggling economy. Rather than scale back its programming or hibernate until matters improve as others have done, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival has made itself more accessible than ever, in terms of both admission fees and diversity of programming. Boasting over 400 concerts at 40 venues, the fest includes such luminaries as trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra exploring the catalogues of Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, and others; Madeleine Peyroux, the idiosyncratic French-American singer-songwriter who looks like a Commercial Drive folkie and sounds like Billie Holiday; cult roots-rock artists Lucinda Williams and Steve Earle, whose presence exemplifies the event’s well-established eclecticism; and Vancouver avant-gardists Fond of Tigers, fest perennials who recently won a Juno for instrumental album of the year. This edition, the 26th, inaugurates the Hopper Pass, which grants admission to 60 concerts for $125 (until June 5). Seriously out of pocket? An estimated 150 free concerts are scheduled in Gastown (June 25 and 26), on Granville Island (July 1), and at David Lam Park (July 2 and 3).